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The dilemma of not recognizing people far away
#1
I've proved to myself that I'm much more relaxed if I go without my glasses, and I just wish I could improve my eyesight to the point of being able to get by without using them for anything at all, even if it is still a little blurry. Three things make it almost necessary for me to wear my glasses: Driving at night, reading the board in class, and being able to recognize people more than about 15ft away depending on the circumstances.

The last one is what really gets me. When I try to recognize someone from further than 15 ft away without squinting, I find myself just looking at their general face or body and trying to pick out details. But, usually they will expect me to have recognized who they were by then (or not recognized) and either make eye contact and say hi or look somewhere else. Instead, I think I look like I'm staring at them extra long or something, and I'm worried that this might creep people out. It's not that big a deal, but it just kinda gets to me when I pass somebody while walking and think "Wait! Did I actually know that person?"

I forgot to mention, my current prescription is around -4.00.

Has anyone else ever dealt with this as well? Was anyone able to improve their vision to a point when they no longer felt that uncomfortableness?
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#2
ted Wrote:Three things make it almost necessary for me to wear my glasses: Driving at night, reading the board in class, and being able to recognize people more than about 15ft away depending on the circumstances.

I forgot to mention, my current prescription is around -4.00.
With that amount of nearsightedness, it is necessary to wear glasses for any driving. If you can't read the board or recognize someone on sight, there is no way you should be driving a car even in broad daylight.
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#3
Ok, true.
I am being a bit too obsessive at the moment about "no glasses".
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#4
Perhaps you're not being too obsessive about it, but simply taking the wrong approach. Have you considered asking for a front-row seat, not driving, and not worrying about recognizing people? And if you're going to go without glasses while around others, then you can't worry about recognizing anyone.
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#5
Oh I am the same way! Same prescription too.

I sit in front in class and wear glasses to drive.

As for the people thing, I notice how they walk/move/etc and then I can usually figure out who that person is.

And yeah, it is quite embarrassing when they say hi or expect you to recognize them and you're still trying to figure out who they are, kinda discouraging. Just keep relaxing!
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#6
Just my opinion on not being able to recognize people. It can be quite frustrating, but it's bearable. In my case, I don't really care what people think of me, so I don't mind coming off as awkward, clumsy, or zoned out, as the case may be. It's also worth mentioning that most people don't really notice that anything is out of the ordinary.

Of course, the real problem comes up when someone greets you from too far away and you want to respond. Usually, I'll just walk closer, or I'll give a response that could apply to anyone ("Hi", "Hey", "How's it going", etc. - no names included). Interestingly, it becomes even harder to recognize people when you are worried about not recognizing them. Sort of like how it is harder to see when you are trying to see.
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#7
The biggest deterrent to progress,and a major cause of myopia is the use of computers.
If you are trying to improve your eyesight,stay off of the computer.
Myopia has exploded world wide in countries that use them.
In the days before computers, most myopes were avid readers,and even then ,prescriptions of anything above minus three were rare.Today double digit prescriptions are common to those that use computers often.
For those that are trying to improve their sight,the best thing for you is to seek an occupation where you will daily use mostly distant vision,and only have recreation that uses distant vision.If you work,and play with primarily close vision,you will remain a myope.
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#8
Bifocal, I don't see how your reply is relevant to this topic.
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#9
I guess, I was talking about trying to go without glasses, since they are a deterrent to vision improvement? And he wanted to state another big deterrent? I dunno.

In my experience without glasses, I have definitely found that socializing with people near me becomes much more easy going and comfortable than when I'm wearing glasses. Has anyone else ever noticed this?
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#10
Yeah, I usually feel quite awkward when talking with people while I have my glasses on. I suspect it's a strain of some sort, or maybe it's because I would normally see reasonably well at the near-point anyway. If I happen to be wearing glasses before a conversation starts, I will usually take them off. It's one of those situations where I feel more comfortable without them.
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#11
Yeah, that's how it is for me as well. That's probably the main area where I notice a difference between more relaxation without glasses vs. more tense and nervous with glasses.

I think for me this tension could have something to do with how eye contact can be a bit nerve wracking sometimes. I think this is so because I get locked up and think that I should only be looking at there eyes. I don't think that's right though. When one is listening to someone speak, one's attention is not only on what they are saying but the minor facial movements and body language that's happening. Therefore, I think it requires that the gaze be shifting around, like observing their mouth moving, eyebrows raising, eye movements, etc.

Sometimes I feel like I get caught up in my mind too much while listening to others to the point of me not even hearing them really. To get over this, I think I should work on getting "out of mind" and be more present while listening to people.
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#12
That's a good point. I have a tendency to avoid making eye contact with other people, so I guess it follows logically that not being able to see their eyes very well in the first place would avoid the issue altogether. I suppose that this is a fear I will need to overcome soon. Thanks for bringing it to my attention (whether or not you meant to)! On a tangentially related note, I have almost overcome my fear of walking up and down stairs. By that, I mean that I can, for short periods of time, walk up or down the stairs without having to keep my eyes fixed on my feet. The funny thing is that it's actually pretty easy, but the second I start to worry, it becomes impossible not to look down (I almost fell down the stairs once when I insisted on not looking down).

Back to the topic of people. I'm actually quite uncertain on what I should be looking at when I am talking to someone. I recall reading somewhere that shifting inside the eye-eye-nose triangle shows that you're attentive even while shifting the eyes, but it feels unnatural to me (no surprise, of course). I suppose it makes sense to observe others to see what their eyes do during conversations. That might even give me a sense of purpose that'll make it less unnatural.
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#13
Pikachu, about the stairs issue: I've been working on my anxiety about going down stairs for a while now. Not looking at my feet is much easier when I'm going slowly, am present, and especially if I have bare feet which I do a lot in the warm weather. I am coming to the conclusion that it's not so much about being unable to see my feet with crystal clarity, since I shouldn't have to look at my feet at all -- it's about not being grounded. By the way, I get un-grounded easily when I start to worry, so yes, worrying about whether I can see someone's face makes it harder to do so, because my attention is on the worry instead of on the seeing. I am now exploring how much of my not being able to see well enough is actually not being grounded enough, not being in my body (and feet!).
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#14
Hmm, I never thought of it that way. I've connected having a lot of background static going on in my mind to being ungrounded (at least, that's my definition of it), but I tend to connect the stairs issue with trust, self-confidence, positive thinking. My experience with "blind stair-walking" is that the less I think about the act, the easier it is. The second I wonder if I'm doing it correctly, it all blows up in my face - a lot like vision improvement, in fact. I remember that one time I went down the stairs without looking down, and somehow I didn't even realize I wasn't looking down (I guess I undid that habit) until I was two-thirds of the way down. And then I realized what I was doing and I thought, "How did I get down here without looking down?" I almost tripped on the very next step. But at the rate I'm going, I'll be cured of stair-fright within a month or two. If only vision improvement could go that quickly. Wink

Now that I think about it, it's like you said. Worrying is a form of being ungrounded. I've just never really considered the possibility before. Thanks for giving me something to think about. Smile
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#15
Nancy Wrote:Pikachu, about the stairs issue: I've been working on my anxiety about going down stairs for a while now. Not looking at my feet is much easier when I'm going slowly, am present, and especially if I have bare feet which I do a lot in the warm weather. I am coming to the conclusion that it's not so much about being unable to see my feet with crystal clarity, since I shouldn't have to look at my feet at all -- it's about not being grounded. By the way, I get un-grounded easily when I start to worry, so yes, worrying about whether I can see someone's face makes it harder to do so, because my attention is on the worry instead of on the seeing. I am now exploring how much of my not being able to see well enough is actually not being grounded enough, not being in my body (and feet!).

Nancy,
I don't understand why you would have difficulty with not being able to see your feet clearly,or being able to see faces clearly.
If you have 20/45 uncorrected vision,you should be seeing all things clearly within five feet,and beyond that,things should only be slightly blurred.
Since you had a high amount of astigmatism,perhaps there is still a lot there.
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